“The Website Previously Known as Legendary Pokémon.”

Editorial

The Website Previously Known as Legendary Pokémon.

by Arty2

TL;DR: We’ve been in this game for long enough to see many come and go. It is finally our time to go, only to begin afresh!

Artwork by Siadora.

We’ve been in this game for long enough to see many come and go. It is finally our time to go, only to begin afresh! Starting over with a clean slate, we’re trashing our older self. From now on, we will be focusing on long-form, quality articles on the theme of Pokémon, of course.

Want to know what drives us?

We want the public to understand anime and video games in general, as high-tech works of intellect, and as contemporary media for quality entertainment. We also want to shed light on the communities that revolve around them and study how they provide ground for educated discussions, allow for artistic expression and foster honest relationships.

We’ll still cater to our old fans, moving our news coverage to our instances on Twitter and Facebook, and we’ll try to host a select few guides for the newcomers that want to delve deeper into the games.

But really, why keep at it?

They say the funnel of participation in online communities goes like this: 100 > 10 > 1, which translates to 100 people that read, 10 people that discuss and just 1 of them to actually make something. Indeed most fansites and similar online communities, even the wikis I know, are built on the work of discrete individuals. Once those individuals cease to contribute —because, well, life happens— then these communities begin to wither.

Such was the case with Legendary Pokémon too; maintaining a Pokédex and multiple pages on mechanics was too much of a task to ever begin with. The antiquated hand-stitched back-end was rather daunting towards anyone that ever wanted to contribute in reporting the news.

But fifteen years ago, at the inception of this website, when I began working with —literally— child-like enthusiasm, against my best guess, I couldn’t foresee that it would provide a point of reference in the lives of so many people. These people grew up along with us and several are still around, and as we got tired many went but fewer came.

And they poured through the streets, day and night, kids and adults alike.

Then Pokémon GO happened, and too many people realized that their childhood video games are still around. Many Pokémon GO players perhaps had never even touched a Nintendo DS, but they were somewhat familiar with the pop-icon that is Pikachu. At least in Greece, where I live, in lack of the anime airing on a public broadcast television channel, Pokémon was seemingly forgotten. And they poured through the streets, day and night, kids and adults alike. They still do, mind you, that “fad” that you may never get into is still alive and kicking.

That’s when it hit me. Shouldn’t all the things I do be “serious”? Should I wrap it up, or put some more effort in all this? Of course “the newcomers” won’t jump aboard the Pokémon train forever; most will eventually get tired. Either way, a tiny fraction of them will seed the online communities that are to survive in the future.

Against the Social Media natives.

Before Facebook and Twitter came along, people would already talk, meet with friends and share their lives online. However, that took effort on the platform maker, someone that knew enough computer stuff to upload files via FTP and set up a forum software. That’s the time Legendary Pokémon was brought into life. Apparently today, we’re obsolete thanks to the social giants, which by the way monetize our every waking moment, but that’s alright since they provide such great value to us, isn’t it?

Since forum goers have thinned, you’d expect to see a similar amount of user created content on social media, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. They do create a whole lot more actually, but of personal nature. One wild guess would be that it’s uncool to maintain the persona of a gamer —much further of one that plays Pokémon— in the same bucket your “real-life” friends are.

The “traditional” communities are not yet obsolete in my opinion, but they’re withering nonetheless. Most of these dinosaurs have adopted social media like everybody else, more or less with success. On the other hand, innovative media platforms such as YouTube and Twitch have given rise to native, television-like personas with thousands of followers. Some put some work into what they make, by researching at least, but the majority combine minimum effort with —excuse my language— garbage. Such garbage includes catchy yet non-informative headline, listicles, 5-minute videos of chatter for a single fact and a ton of memes, Let’s Play streams, GIFs and LULZ. Fun stuff really, easy to digest. Don’t get your popcorn ready; I won’t point fingers at people within the Pokémon community, but you already know about 9gag, Buzzfeed, Cracked, Mashable, The Daily Beast, The Next Web and the rest.

Don’t get me wrong for I am not nostalgic. There’s more quality content on the internet than there never was, but at the same time there’s more people than ever that are attracted to garbage, for they don’t know… otherwise.

What else is there to do?

Thankfully there’s also people doing nice things, such as Quarz, KillScreen, several Medium blogs, The Intercept, Wired (a classic), Smashing Magazine and a few others. We’re thankfully affiliated with some of the people steadily doing good work in the Pokémon community.

What I like to label “quality” content comes at a price though, high production costs and relatively lower popularity. Such a cost may be too high for such a niche market as Pokémon is. But making platforms for others to make use off, is what the old trade of “webmaster—ing” is about, and that’s where we’re at. Some things may not be polished yet, but we will be iterating continuously.

Last but not least, let’s keep in mind that platforms are not made of technologies, but people, and LegendaryPKMN could be nothing less than a group effort. Many thanks to Philip, Thanos, Siadora, Steve, Anthony, Basil, Aris, Kostas, Joe, Johnny, George and several other friends that worked on it in the past. And of course, we owe our enthusiasm and drive to the greater community of friends we have managed to make, and hope will continue to be with us.

We have dropped our forum in favor of Discord and IRC, and are also dropping our comments section. Still, if you wish to contribute to the discussion with a lengthy opinion or comment constructively on something you read, we urge you to lead the discussion in our channels, contact the author directly, or better yet email us with your reply which in turn we may post.

In the meantime, we’re looking into creating content that is easy to read and understand for people that have no clue about video games. We want to bring in ideas outside the world of video games. We’re very interested in fresh opinions and perspectives from other communities and diverse fields, such as philosophy, sociology, history, biology, design, architecture, art and more.

If you’re into it, let us sail together!

About the author

Arty2

Heracles is an Athens-based architect and designer.
He founded LegendaryPKMN in 2001.

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